Floating solar photovoltaics and hydropower : the potential for hybridization in a fixed price electricity market
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- Master's theses (HH) 
With abundant solar resources, solar technology remains one of the cheapest, most readily available energy sources globally. However, its intermittent nature has hindered its utilization in the electricity sector, leading to many countries to rely upon more expensive thermal fuels for sustainable energy supply. Researchers have proposed the use of flexible conventional energy sources such as hydropower with reservoir to compliment solar photovoltaics(PV) grid integration. Therefore, this paper analyzes the economic performance of integrating and operating a combined floating solar photovoltaics and hydropower plant. Overall, I asses the per unit cost of energy for the individual energy systems and the hybrid system and quantify to what extent the cost of producing energy is reduced in Madagascar when the hybrid energy system is under operation. Lastly, I explore the degree to which the existing market conditions facilitate the operation of hydropower and floating solar photovoltaics as a hybrid energy system. The study reveals that the levelized cost of energy for the hydropower and floating solar is 0.108 $/kWh, 0.0889 $/kWh , respectively. The hybrid system stands out in terms of operation by allowing for more firm energy production, improved optimization during peak periods and increased substitution of thermal plants which leads to a reduction of approximately 18% in cost of energy in Madagascar. Lastly, it is concluded that the current power purchase agreement pricing mechanism and overall market conditions in Madagascar are not appropriately designed to stimulate investment in, or optimal operation of a hybrid plant-which would otherwise offer quantifiable benefits to the power sector of Madagascar.